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In Brief... World News Review

What Harm Could Iran Do?

As rhetorical saber rattling continues out of Tehran, Westerners, especially Americans, seem to give little thought to any pending threat from the Islamic republic. Isn't any potential danger in the distant future? Wouldn't it take many years of development before Iran 's nuclear capability could strike American soil?

That's true. Israel is the one immediately threatened by an Iranian nuclear weapon. But what could Iran do by cutting off its oil--or the other oil that travels through the Persian Gulf? Considering Western emergency oil reserves and the effect on its own economy should give Iran pause before closing the valves.

However, oil isn't the Iranians' sole weapon. Islamic radicals have perfected the terror weapon, having recruited and trained thousands of operatives capable of raising funds, procuring weapons or using themselves as suicide bombers.

Last summer, Mojtaba Bigdeli, Hezbollah's Iranian spokesman, announced a capability to carry out attacks globally. "We have 2,000 volunteers who have registered since last year. They have been trained and they can become fully armed. We are ready to dispatch them to every corner of the world to jeopardize Israel and America's interests. We are only waiting for the Supreme Leader's green light to take action. If America wants to ignite World War Three...we welcome it" ("Iran 's Hezbollah Says Ready to Attack US, Israel," Reuters, July 18, 2006). "Supreme Leader" refers to the chief cleric of Iran, the Ayatollah Ali Hoseini-Khamenei.

Hezbollah's terrorist attacks have killed more Americans than any other group, except for al-Qaeda. That Hezbollah is Iran's proxy is common knowledge. Not commonly known is the fact that Hezbollah has sleeper cells operating in at least 10 U.S. cities.

"In May [2006] the New York Post reported on Hezbollah's plans to activate sleeper cells in New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Detroit as the nuclear showdown with Iran heats up. One focal point: 'the Iranian Mission to the United Nations, where there have already been thee episodes in the last four years in which diplomats and security guards have been expelled for casing and photographing New York City subways and other potential targets.'

"Heightened alert comes in the wake of reports that Iranian crackpot president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Hezbollah leaders in Syria earlier this year" (Michelle Malkin, "Hezbollah Is Here," WorldNetDaily, July 19, 2006).

Chinese Star Wars

They are the early-warning systems for approaching storms. They are the key link in a chain of telecommunications that allow us to talk to someone around the world as if we were in the same town. They allow military operations in Iraq to be planned, executed and monitored in a command room in Florida. They are satellites--technological wonders that make possible many modern miracles. America has had a technological superiority in this field for many years. But the field is changing. An emerging power is marking its territory in this critical area.

In January China revealed it had destroyed one of its old satellites with a missile designed specifically for that purpose. China now has demonstrated the ability to knock out any space satellite, thus taking out the eyes and ears of a military opponent in warfare. The implications for America are serious.

Should China, or any other nation, decide it is in its national interest to preempt American hegemony in its part of the world, then taking out key communication satellites would quickly level the playing field. Without these orbiting birds "seeing" the globe and transmitting vital data to commanders, the American military would be limited if not crippled. American troops and ships would be vulnerable. Missiles could not be tracked to targets. America's military advantages would be neutralized.

Writing in the Washington Times (Feb. 4, 2007) Arnaud de Borchgrave shows this has long been a part of Chinese planning:

"To offset America's enormous strategic military superiority, the Chinese military concluded in the 1990s that information warfare--or cyberwarfare--could give China an 'asymmetric' advantage over the United States. In 1998, the PLA newspaper Jiefangjun Bao said priority should be given 'to learning how to launch an electronic attack on an ensure electromagnetic control in an area and at a time favorable to us.'

"How to take down the computer-driven sinews of a modern industrialized state quickly became a top priority...

"The 1990-91 Desert Shield and Desert Storm and the 2003 invasion of Iraq (when 50 military-specific satellites and numerous commercial birds were used) showed the Chinese how utterly dependent the U.S. had become on 'satcoms.' In 1998, the failure of a single satellite disabled 80 percent of the pagers in the U.S. ...

"The...Commission to Assess U.S. National Security Space Management said the U.S. 'is an attractive candidate for a space Pearl Harbor--or a surprise attack on U.S. space assets aimed at crippling U.S. war-fighting and other capabilities'" (

De Borchgrave concludes China's bold move is a result of two factors. First is the distraction with the war in Iraq and Afghanistan that has polarized and dominated American political discourse.

Second is the real perception in the world that America is weakened by this and can no longer exercise its will among the nations. This is a growing perception that history shows can lead to geopolitical adventuring by nations wishing to assert their interest.

Bible prophecy shows in the end time large forces will assemble in the "east" as part of those gathered for the final battle called "the battle of that great day of God Almighty" (Revelation 16:12-16). What happens in China today is critical to the future. WNP

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